Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

I recently finished The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival, another book from the Ontario Library Association's 2011 Evergreen list. John Vaillant's book about the Amur tiger takes the reader into the most remote regions of Far East Russia. It provides an in-depth and fascinating examination of the psyches of both the tiger and the people living in these isolated Russian communities in post-Perestroika times.

There are a number of interesting human and tigrine characters, but the main ones are Yuri Trush, who works for a government agency set up to protect the Amur tiger, and the man-eating tiger he is charged with destroying. Though this is a work of non-fiction, it often reads like a mystery/thriller, as predator stalks prey, with tiger and human interchanging roles.

Vaillant often veers from the main story to talk about the history of tiger hunting in Asia. He succeeds in conveying to us the significant environmental impact of this practice without being overly preachy. My only complaint is that the audiobook version was narrated by the author. The narration was tolerable but subpar compared to that of narrators professionally trained for the job. Otherwise, this book is well worth a read (or a listen).

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pauline and Kate!
    Just had to check your book blog - and think I've gathered some good titles for my summer reads. Thanks so much for your reviews! Hope you are enjoying more time to read this summer - and staying cool!